A gold medal in the Boys’ 14 & Under singles event and another in the Girls’ 14 & Under doubles event as well as silver medals in the Girls’ 16 & Under singles and Boys’ 14 & Under doubles events, capped off a memorable week for the Nigerian Team at the African Junior Championship qualifying event in Lome, Togo on Thursday.
Youngster, Suleiman Ibrahim staged a remarkable fightback to beat Nermann Ndonfack of Cameroon in the Boys’ 14 & Under singles final and emerge winner of the category.
Ibrahim recovered from a sluggish opening set to secure a 1-6, 6-3, 7-5 victory over Ndonfack.
Meanwhile, Marylove Edwards got narrowly edged in a tense final against Vania Dotse of Togo. The 13-year-old had breezed to a first set win, before the Togolese began to crawl back. Both girls played solidly, but it was Dotse who found the breakthrough in the crucial moments. The youngsters would guide the match into a final-set tiebreak, which Edwards failed to clinch, losing 6-2, 4-6, 6(5)-7 in 4 hours and 20 minutes of relentless hitting to settle for silver.
In the doubles event, the duo of Oiza Yakubu and Iye Onoja sealed a great week of partnership in the Girls’ 14 & Under with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over the Togolese pair of Valentine Talaki and Grace Tchamoussa, securing a second gold for Team Nigeria.
Elsewhere, Ganiyu Mubarak and Suleiman Ibrahim just couldn’t quite see it through as they were beaten in the final 6-3, 4-6, 10-5 by Isaac Padio and Andre Dogbefu of Togo, settling for silver.